Representatives from Phillips 66 were on the OSU Institute of Technology campus Wednesday for an unveiling and dedication ceremony of the newly renovated Phillips 66 Classroom in the Pipeline Integrity Technology program.
The Texas-based energy company donated $25,000 for classroom improvements and $45,000 toward the development of a hands-on training facility for OSUIT’s newest program, Pipeline Integrity Technology.
The renovated classroom includes new teaching equipment, furniture and décor, a first step in growing the program. The larger donation from Phillips 66 will be utilized to develop an outdoor corrosion training facility so students can get more hands-on training.
“The graduates that are coming out of this program are vital to not only our industry, but our country, ensuring the miles of pipeline that we all depend on remain safe, stable and secure,” said Debbie Adams, President of Transportation at Phillips 66. “We are proud to invest in the education and training of this workforce who will do such crucial work for our industry.”
The Pipeline Integrity program started at OSUIT in the fall of 2013 with nine students, but the upcoming fall semester will be full with 20 students and nearly 80 inquiries into the program so far.
The Pipeline Integrity program started at OSUIT when industry leaders came to the university asking for a training program to help meet the need of skilled technicians in the pipeline field.
“We’re one of the only pipeline integrity programs in the country,” said Dr. Abul Hasan, Engineering Technologies Division Chair. “This support is monumental for our program. Contributions from companies like Phillips 66 is how we’ve been able to improve and grow our curriculum and training.”
With more than 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the United States transporting 65 percent of the country’s oil and nearly all of its natural gas, having skilled workers to maintain that complex network of pipelines is a top concern for the energy industry.
Partnerships with companies like Phillips 66 means students get the training they need to do these highly-skilled jobs that are in such high demand, said OSUIT President Dr. Bill R. Path.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to take this exciting program to the next level and prepare our students for a career in pipeline integrity,” said Path. “This is only the beginning of bigger and better things happening in this program as we’ve seen the unbelievable growth potential in this program and in this field.”
The hope is the contribution from Phillips 66 will be a catalyst for other companies that have a vested interest in the country’s pipelines to offer support for the Pipeline Integrity program.
“We want to develop more classrooms, hire more faculty and increase the number of students enrolled, which will all help the pipeline industry,” Hasan said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”